Cars over 40 years old now MoT test exempt - Countach, Esprit and Alfasud Sprint sneak in

New law might just make it that little bit easier to own our favourite classics

The Department of Transport has decided to scrap the MoT test for vehicles over 40 years old. The change in legislation will come into force on May 20th 2018, bringing the MoT test into line with the cut-off date when Vehicle Excise Duty is also no longer applicable.

Until now, the exemption from the MoT test only applied to a vehicle built or registered before 1960, but the change in the law will increase the total of cars exempt from 197,000 to just short of 300,000.

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The 40-year cut-off point will be implemented on a rolling basis; the DoT decided that cars of this age and older are usually kept in good condition by their owners, and that the modern MoT test is often not relevant to classics. A proposal for a simpler roadworthiness test for classics was rejected.

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From an evo perspective, that means 3-litre 911 Turbos and original spec 911 SCs are now MoT-exempt Porsches, along with the first 924s that were launched in 1976. Supercar owners with an original 4-litre Countach are now also MoT-free, along with the original super wedge, the Series 1 Lotus Esprit, and the very first Aston Martin Vantage - the one with the blanked off grille and unintegrated rear spoiler, as Aston fanatics will know. At the slightly more affordable end of the classic market, it’ll also mean a test-free year for the brilliant Alfasud Sprint, the Ford Escort RS2000 mk2 and the mk1 VW Golf GTI, albeit in left-hand drive only.


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